DC Communities – Project Update

Hello digital history fans! Here is a little update on my project.

I made some great progress a few weeks ago and started working on my StoryMap and writing a narrative for the website. The map builder seems simple enough to use, but I quickly ran into problems. I could not assign different colors to different stops, making the entire map one color. I decided to create two maps – each following one couple instead of both. In addition to this technical difficulty, I decided that I am not intimately familiar enough with the husband’s interviews to tell their stories. At this point in time I will likely just follow the wives and map their stories.

I like this idea because I started thinking about my life and all of the places I’ve lived, worked, and visited. I’d love to map out my own life because I’ve never taken the time to write it down. This platform is a great way to preserve our stories, and pair them with other resources such as oral history and images. In an ideal world, these maps could layer over each other and see where stories/lives overlap. This also creates potential for finding common themes and events in people’s lives. For example, researchers could use this collection of stories to research citizenship and nationality like I did, or look at international reactions to 9/11. (Svetlana went to visit Jude in London around the time of attack, and was sent back to the United States because of a problem with her visa.)

Here are some pictures of what I have so far!

Here’s the first thing you see when you open my StoryMap! It is followed by a description of the project.
I haven’t added arrows following the subject’s path, yet! I’m worried it will make the map look messy.
Here you can see glimpses of orange, which denote “points” – aka cities important to the couple.

I’m also struggling with being able to add my documents, and there appears to be a lack of ability to add audio to the platform. Creators can upload or link videos, but not audio… Strange. Maybe I can embed a link to SoundCloud?

For my next steps, I’m going to look into the map creator a bit more rather than the map within story maps and see if I can get it to do what I want. I’d really like to use different colored points for different kinds of events, some with dates attached and some more narrative.  I’m also debating if I should switch this project over to Word Press so that I can upload documents and audio clips.

Any tips, colleagues?

One Reply to “DC Communities – Project Update”

  1. Hi Ani, great to see how your project is coming together. I think your idea of building out distinct maps for the different individuals makes a lot of sense. You may also want to look into the Story Maps Journal builder functions as they would let you build out more of a narrative structure to your stories within the map based context. You can see some of what that looks like from Carmen’s draft project.

    I’m almost certain you should be able to either link to or embed soundcloud audio into either the pins or into the narrative points in the Journal function in Story Maps.

    With all that said, if you do want to make this work with different colored pins I think you could likely also pivot and make the site in wordpress and embed google mymaps. This is more or less what Jenna has working for her project, so you could take a look at what that looks like and do some experimentation to see what it would be like to pivot to that other stack of technologies.

    Overall, great to see how you are working through the challenges that your tools present and exciting to see how your idea is developing from the initial concept into a working presentation.

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